Imam-ul-Haq scored a superb 151 against England recently. Photo: Action Images via Reuters
Imam-ul-Haq scored a superb 151 against England recently. Photo: Action Images via Reuters

Today at the Cricket World Cup: West Indies v Pakistan

By Ashfak Mohamed Time of article published May 31, 2019

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One team are in a rut of 10 consecutive ODI defeats, and the other come off scoring over 400 in their last match just a few days ago.

But when it comes to the West Indies and Pakistan, expect the unexpected.

The two underdogs of this World Cup come face to face at Trent Bridge in Nottingham today (11.30am SA time start), and they will want to get off to a winning start, as things will only get tougher after this.

West Indies

Last five matches: Lost 3, Won 2

Key batsman: Shai Hope

Only one of his six hundreds have come against a big nation – India last October – so can Shai Hope produce the goods against the top tier teams?

Yes, he pounded New Zealand earlier this week, but that was not an official ODI.

He will come up against a formidable Pakistan attack, and if he can keep things together, the West Indies thumpers such as Chris Gayle and Andre Russell can go for it.

Key bowler: Kemar Roach

Kemar Roach can bowl with real pace, but his recent form hasn’t been up to scratch. He has gone for more than six runs per over in his last three ODIs, and that was against Ireland and Bangladesh (twice).

But with Shannon Gabriel in doubt for this match, Roach will have to rediscover his fire if the West Indies are going to trouble the Pakistani batsmen.


Last five matches: Lost 5

Key batsman: Imam-ul-Haq

While he has his critics when it comes to his strike-rate, Imam-ul-Haq has been a consistent performer at the top of the order.

He averages 60.30 in 28 matches, with a strike-rate of 81.58. But if he can produce the big hundreds – like he did with 151 against England two weeks ago – that would allow the stroke-players like Babar Azam to play their natural game.

Key bowler: Mohammad Amir

The left-arm paceman has missed the last four games due to chicken pox, and battled to take wickets before that.

But he has tasted success in England before, with Pakistan winning the 2017 Champions Trophy and 2009 World T20.

Amir can move the ball both ways, and if he encounters helpful overcast conditions and a green tinge to a pitch, he might just find that magical touch once more.

Prediction: Pakistan to win.

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